Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he will annex some Israeli settlements in the West Bank if he wins Tuesday’s Israeli election. The move would mark a sharp departure from current Israeli policy.
In an interview with Israeli television Benjamin Netanyahu promised to annex at least some Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
He said that every Jewish settlement in the West Bank is part of Israel, and he will not uproot one Jewish settler. That is in contrast to his challenger, Benny Gantz, who has said he could move some Israelis from the West Bank in a peace deal with the Palestinians.
Netanyahu’s remarks come two days before a closely fought Israeli election that could challenge Netanyahu’s 10 year run in the prime minister’s office. Palestinian foreign minister Riad Malki warned that Netanyahu would face a “real problem” if he annexes Jewish settlements.
Palestinians say the entire West Bank and Gaza Strip as well as east Jerusalem must be part of a future Palestinian state. Israel has controlled the West Bank since 1967, but unlike the Golan Heights or east Jerusalem, has never annexed it.
About 400,000 Israelis live in Jewish settlements in the West Bank alongside 2.3 million Palestinians.
U.S. President Donald Trump has promised to release details of a new peace plan after the Israeli elections. (VOA)